June 20, 2017 / 4:27 PM / 2 months ago

Euro zone debt chiefs cautiously eye sustainable bond options

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Portugal, Ireland and Italy are all looking at the possibility of following France by issuing sustainable debt, the heads of their respective debt agencies said on Tuesday.

France this year became the second sovereign after Poland to sell so-called "green bonds", where the proceeds are used to finance projects to address climate change.

Portugal's debt agency chief Cristina Casalinho told an audience at a Euromoney conference in London: "We've always been trying to diversify our investor base. We are considering green bonds, responsible bonds."

Ireland's head of funding Frank O'Connor added that green bonds could also be an option, alongside potentially issuing in U.S. dollars to broaden its investor base.

"The issue we may find in Ireland is sufficient projects that could qualify (for green investment) ... but we keep an open mind," said O'Connor.

Italy's debt chief Maria Cannata added that while she had no firm plans and was concerned about the reporting requirements of issuing sustainable debt, the Italian Treasury was "investigating all the aspects" of the new asset class. (Reporting by John Geddie and Dhara Ranasinghe)

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